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Electrical Problems, headlights and wipers not working

1382 Views 38 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mainesaabc
89 Saab 900 Base

Seemingly all at once, my electrical went haywire:
-Dashboard shows brights are on, can't turn it off
-Lights don't work
-Right turn signal doesn't work
-Wipers don't work (wiper spray does)
-Right blinker doesn't work
-Only 3rd brake light works (well, the others were just really dim)
EDIT!-Forgot to add horn doesn't work either

After much digging through forums, I did the following:
-New headlamps, all 6 bulbs in front side lights replaced, side marker bulbs replaced
-Checked grounds in rear lights.
-Checked fuses with electric meter
-Cleaned (I think) all grounds

Not recommended in the forums, but I had had enough, I tapped into the ground feeding the right tail light and grounded it to the ground from the left taillight. This gave me blinkers, albeit the right one blinks fast and the left blinks normal. I imagine this might be because there is too much current, but I was having a hard time cleaning the contacts in the left taillight and imagine that is what needs to be done.

I still cannot get headlights to work or windshield wipers.

If I turn the lights on while the blinker is going, the blink gets very slow, like one change per second (ie two seconds for a full on/off cycle).

Based on what I have read it seems like it is either a ground somewhere that I have not found, or the headlight relay. I did not find a lot of good info on the latter, but I took it apart and visually checked it for anything obvious and didn't see anything. I uploaded pictures of it in case someone smarter than me sees something.

Lastly, I am a novice, so please use small words in your reply! :)


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1 - 10 of 39 Posts
It could be buzzing due to a short in wiring. I would pull that panel off enough to get a thorough look underneath.
It should come up a fair amount - enough to do a repair in there :) - but no, there's no tricks.
I would try disconnecting the turn signal and/or wiper stalks.
Glad you're making progress. Hopefully the headlights are just a bad switch or bad relay.
There are only two body grounds up front.... the ground at the right side base of the radiator (in your picture) and a ground behind the left headlight. Most everything uses the former... just a bunch of ring terminals on a bolt into the body.
Do all lights work with the hazard button?
The terminals are numbered on the stalk, and the wiring diagram shows what wire color to what terminal.
I am honestly not sure what would cause this... But presumably the stalk itself.
It's only stupid when you pay someone else. Until then it's an experiment. :D
1 - 10 of 39 Posts